In the last week, I have had the opportunity to see two different live music shows. They could not have been more different. One was a very intimate setting, with maybe 40 people in the room, with acoustic guitars, beautiful voices, and a tiny drum kit that fits into a suitcase. The other was a super loud rock show in a venue with over 2,000 people with lights, huge speakers, and three full bands.
One had musicians whom I am fortunate to know personally and whose music I listen to regularly at home. The other had bands whose music I didn't really know at all. I went because a very dear friend invited me, and I mostly just wanted to spend time with her.
Despite the totally different experiences, there was still something about them that was the same. There is something special about the power of music that brings a bunch of strangers together to share a common experience. There is a connection that happens with you and the performer, with you and the other audience members, that is hard to articulate, but you can feel that connection.
You don't need to know the lyrics to the songs to experience the emotion of it. In fact, even when you know the lyrics, you often find that what they mean to you is different from what they mean to someone else. Each person takes what they need from the song. But if you pay attention, you can sense the energy and emotion of everyone in the room around you. I had a few moments like that at these music shows. I closed my eyes, and I could sense the life energy of all those people around me. I could sense their hopes, their dreams, their sorrows, and their beautiful life force humming in the background. I could sense that we are all the same. Behind the ego masks of who we think we are, if we peel them away we find that we are, really, all the same.
It's important to remember that during these divisive times. Maybe that's why music is so important. Music is universal. Before we are born, we hear the beating of our mother's heart, a rhythm of life that is always in the background. Our own hearts continue the rhythm, and they all beat together into one continuous vibration.
I was inspired to pick my guitar back up and try to work on some new songs. I have only written two songs in the last year. One was a song for two sweet little babies who joined our world recently. (Just as a side note, if you are ever looking for a way to lift your spirits and stop focusing on the woes of the world, you should just write a song for babies. It's a surefire day brightener.) The other I wrote while on vacation, inspired by the beauty of the natural world and the majestic trees of the Pacific coast. It takes inspiration to write a song. Sometimes I just don't have it. Sometimes I channel the spark of those creative impulses into writing this blog. In some ways it is a lot easier. In some ways, it is actually the lazy route for me. I don't have to think about meter or rhyme, or what key I should use. I don't have to worry about if I can actually play on guitar what I hear in my head But I have to admit it really doesn't satisfy the same need.
I realized this after listening to the songs from both of these music shows. I think we need to tell our stories in music because I think it might be the language we communicate in best. I just started working on a song that I'm calling "Alright Today". Because, for today anyway, I am alright. My scans this week showed no progression of my cancer. I'm happy to report that things are stable, and we will continue with the current course of treatment. So I am alright. And I'm going to tell that story.